Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Hui Sun and Benedetto Marelli
The assembly of biomacromolecules into nanostructures has advanced recently, however, transitioning the molecular disorder to macroscale structures has remained challenging.
Researchers at MIT used templated silk fibroin crystallization along with the INKREDIBLE to assemble ordered peptide supramolecular 3D patterns. The INKREDIBLE enabled the continuous printing of silk gels in order to facilitate the orientational arrangement of silk nanofibrils induced by the printing shear force.
The results of the study suggest that the template-based bottom-up approach guides hierarchical material growth from disordered molecules up to the macroscale. The templated crystallization method along with 3D printing may allow for the generation of new macroscopic nanostructured materials with applications ranging from regenerative medicine to information storage and encryption.
Sun, H., Marelli, B. Polypeptide templating for designer hierarchical materials. Nat Commun 11, 351 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-019-14257-0